As a chiropractor, if you’re simply focusing on your next adjustment, you’re missing out on significant market share.Think about it: As a profession, it’s estimated that we treat only about 8 to 10 percent of the population, despite being the second largest health care provider profession in the country. This equates to 30 million out of 300 million people who see a chiropractor. To me, there is a huge opportunity: We just need to see a higher percentage of the population.
So, how are we going to accomplish that?
At some point, almost everybody in the U.S. goes to see a medical doctor, but not everyone sees a chiropractor. Yet by law, chiropractors are considered primary health care providers, which means we are legally able AND responsible to diagnose any and every disorder. Many chiropractors don’t realize that, and as a result, we are missing out on a huge market of opportunity by limiting ourselves to treating a limited number of conditions and disorders by delivering chiropractic adjustments only.
So does this mean we should advertise that we treat, for example, cancer? No, certainly not. But what it does mean is that if a patient presents with back pain from a spine tumor, we are legally responsible to diagnose that, treat some component of the disorder PLUS refer the patient to other care.
But in other cases, we do have an opportunity to provide additional patient care.
Consider aging-related disorders such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia, a loss of muscle mass that can lead to falls. As chiropractors, we are able to both diagnose and treat these conditions. This helps improve patients’ overall quality of life through chiropractic adjustments, exercise and nutritional supplements.
This is also where the technology of whole body vibration (WBV) plays a part. WBV offers the opportunity for patients to engage in weight-bearing exercise in a very safe and effective manner in a very short time.
For example, in my practice we work with a number of Medicare patients and use WBV as a “warm-up” prior to their chiropractic visit. Once these patients are out of the pain relief phase of care, we have them “join” our office on a membership basis to utilize WBV several times a week as a weight-bearing exercise. The exercise builds muscle mass, improves agility, prevents falls and osteoporosis, and improves their overall function in daily life. We call this phase of care “Stabilization Care,” and patients love it!
From the business perspective, the equipment takes up very little space and also needs no additional staff to operate. Take a look around your office: Is there space that’s not being utilized? That may be an excellent opportunity to open a WBV room or rehab room to attract a larger portion of the market. For very little money (roughly $2,000 to $3,000), it is possible to set up a room and get started with “low-tech” rehab, including WBV, resistance bands and light weights.
As you market WBV to older and baby boomer patients, concentrate on the quality of life message and watch your practice grow! Focus on words such as fall prevention, osteoporosis or flexibility in your advertising and marketing messages and you will attract a new demographic and a whole lot of new patients.
In practice, WBV opens up an opportunity for chiropractors to look beyond back pain and adjustments to a more holistic view, especially as rising health care costs are leading patients to seek more preventive treatments. WBV definitely opens up an avenue for chiropractors to gain increased market share but also deliver better whole-body care to their patients.